Verstappen offers overtaking masterclass at Interlagos

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“You can’t overtake here,” a frustrated Lewis Hamilton said on the podium after finishing second in Brazil.

“I was behind Nico and in traffic for some time, so I just killed my tires. It’s a shame because it’s such a great track but you can’t get close enough in the race.

“It would be good if we could do some overtaking here.”

Try telling that to Max Verstappen.

At just 18 years old, the Dutchman has made an enormous impression during his debut Formula 1 season, and only added to his list of good deeds at Interlagos by producing two of the stand-out overtakes of the year.

Starting ninth, Verstappen dropped outside of the top ten in the opening stages of the race before putting up a spirited fightback that included two near-identical passes around the outside of turn one.

The first came on Sergio Perez at the beginning of lap 32. Verstappen swung his Toro Rosso out wide before dropping it down the hill, riding the kerb and forcing Perez to yield the position. The Mexican lost momentum after being passed, causing him to drop behind Romain Grosjean soon after.

Verstappen wasn’t done yet, though. On lap 58, he produced a near-identical move on Felipe Nasr at the first corner to relieve the Brazilian of 11th place before charging past Pastor Maldonado late on to finish 10th at the flag.

Following Felipe Massa’s exclusion, Verstappen was duly promoted to ninth, handing him two points for his efforts in Brazil.

“It was a very enjoyable race! Of course, you always want to score more points, but we have to be realistic and a P10 was the maximum we could do today,” Verstappen said.

“On the straights we were slow and it’s very difficult to defend position with a Lotus or a Force India unfortunately, but to add another point is always good.

“I enjoyed it out there this afternoon – I managed to do some good overtakes, especially at turn one! There were some good battles.

“I was attacking but behind they were also doing the same to me, so I had no rest but it was good fun! I’m happy to finish in the top ten once again.”